Chapter 983 of the Statutes of 1988 added provisions to the California Health and Safety Code designed to reduce drug and alcohol abuse in California, improve the coordination of efforts to reduce drug and alcohol abuse, and provide direction for public policy decisions affecting drug and alcohol services.
Division 10.6 of the Health and Safety Code encourages state and county governments to prepare master plans for reducing drug and alcohol abuse. It also sets goals for all segments of society to strive toward. Although the goals are only advisory, the Legislature intended that the State and each county government address the goals to the extent possible. We reviewed the master plan process at the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to determine the State's and counties' progress in meeting the goals in the fourth year of what was originally established as a five-year planning process. Additionally, we sent letters to other state agencies requesting them to send us information regarding their progress in meeting the goals they could address. Finally, we reviewed some county master plans to determine the progress the counties had made toward the goals they could address. Generally, the State has made a good start toward achieving its goals designed to reduce alcohol and drug abuse. We found the following specific information:
State agencies have fully achieved 13 of the 40 goals they could address. Additionally, state agencies have made partial progress in meeting 22 of the goals. However, they have made no progress on 5 of the 40 goals they could address.
The Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs provides guidance and funding to the counties for the development of county master plans. Although the department's guidance does not require the counties to report progress on meeting the goals specified in Division 10.6, it does specify the issues that the county master plans must address. In our review of a sample of 10 county master plans, we found that all ten master plans contain a description of the county's master plan advisory body as required by the State's guidance.
All 58 counties in the State are in some stage of developing a master plan for reducing drug and alcohol abuse. However, with few exceptions, information on the counties' progress in meeting the goals they could address is not available at the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs because the department does not believe it has the statutory power to require such information.